The Rhine starts in Switzerland and runs through France, Germany and The Netherlands before emptying into the North Sea. It is 820 miles long.
The Rhine is navigable for 540 miles, and canals connect it to the Danube, Marne and Rhone rivers. It has been recognized as an international waterway since the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
The Upper Middle Rhine Valley ("Rhine Gorge") is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and famed for its combination of natural beauty, vineyards and historic attractions such as castles.
On the High Rhine, in Switzerland, are the Rhine Falls. At 450 feet wide and 75 feet high, they are the biggest waterfalls in Europe.
The Rhine first served as the rough border between the Roman Empire and the German tribes following Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Attempts to push Roman rule beyond the Rhine were abandoned after the 9 A.D. Battle of Teutoburg Forest, which involved the destruction of three Roman legions in a prolonged, three-day ambush.
Few other rivers have so many major and historic cities located on its banks as the Rhine. These include Basel, Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Cologne and the former German capital of Bonn.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.